Australia is home to one of the most potent vitamin C foods known as the Kakadu plum. How much vitamin C does this superfruit contain? According to the Australian Government’s Rural Industries Research and Development Corp., the Kakadu plum has the “highest recorded level of natural vitamin C content of any plant in the world — more than 100 times that of oranges.” (1) Also called the gubinge or the billy goat plum, the kakadu plum is a flowering plant that’s more related to the almond than the plum. Unlike most fruits, the kakadu plum stays on the plant after ripening.
This delightful plum is similar to the size of an olive or cherry with a hard, woody seed that’s covered by a layer of edible fruit. It’s typically harvested in early March through June, depending on the monsoon season, and is most popular in jams, preserves, sauces, chutneys and juices, and is even used to flavor ice cream. However, it’s often found as a concentrate, much like you find acerola cherry, rose hips and black currant extracts, and as a powder supplement, packing anywhere from 150—450 milligrams of vitamin C per gram. That’s a lot of vitamin C, making it a true nutritional powerhouse, much like vitamin C-packed camu camu. The Kakadu plum may be perfect for anyone who struggles with eating enough fruits and vegetables get immune-boosting power of vitamin C. (2) Kakadu Plum Benefits
- Packs a Huge Antioxidant and Phytonutrient Punch
The Kakadu plum contains even more antioxidants than the blueberry, making it one of the most remarkable high-antioxidant foods on Earth. Going to head-to-head with the blueberry, it packs quite a comparative punch, providing 4.7 times more phenolic compounds and 10 times more potassium. Australian commercially grown fruits were examined, revealing the hydrophilic phytochemicals and antioxidants that they contain. The Kakadu plum showed much more total phenolic compounds than the blueberry and has been studied as a possible cancer-fighting food due to the phytonutrients it contains. (3, 4) One study published in Food Chemistry gathered information of the various levels of phenolic compounds, vitamin C, sugars and antioxidant capacities of the Kakadu plum. The hydrolysable tannins and ellagic acid were identified as the major phenolic compounds and have placed this plum in the category that deems it safe and effective for use in the nutraceutical industry and for food processors. (5)
- Protects Against Immune System Deficiencies
Vitamin C is one of the first nutrients to go when undergoing stress, smoking, drinking alcohol or engaging in other nutrient-depleting activities, such as endurance sports. When this happens, our immune systems are compromised, and a compromised immune system may be why you always catch that cold every time you travel. By loading up on vitamin C, you can prepare your defense system by boosting your immunity system before you come in contact with any cold-causing germs. (6)
- Lowers Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
We know that fruits and vegetables are great choices for our health, and it’s the antioxidants they contain that gives them their amazing reputation. As such, fruits and vegetables have long been associated with lowering the risk for heart disease. The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study reviewed 9,187 men and 11,112 women, who all appeared to be healthy, aged 39 to 79 years. The results showed a decrease in heart failure with increasing plasma vitamin C, specifically, a “9% relative reduction in risk of heart failure after adjustment for age, sex, smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, occupational social class, educational level, systolic blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol concentration, and body mass index, with similar result if adjusting for interim coronary heart disease.” (7) Considering the Kakadu plum is the top vitamin C food around, it’s a great source to help protect against coronary heart disease.
- Helps Fight Alzheimer’s
Edith Cowan University’s Foundation of Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease explains that the Kakadu plum contains antioxidant properties possibly up to seven times greater than curcumin, which is what places turmeric so high on the list of superfoods. The foundation states that the Kakadu plum has a protective ability that may make it even more powerful than turmeric. How does this powerful plum become so amazing? When a plant is in an environment that’s harsh, it has to work harder to produce the antioxidants it needs to stay strong and thrive. These antioxidants get passed right on through to the the lucky recipient of the fruit. It’s this activity that’s thought to “protect brain neurons from toxic agents” and free radical scavenging, such as those that occur in Alzheimer’s patients. Free radicals ultimately kill brain cells. (8) Since the antioxidants in the Kakadu plum fight free radical damage, this fruit may also work as a potential Alzheimer’s natural treatment.
- Reduces the Appearance of Wrinkles
Vitamin C has the ability to reduce wrinkles and age spots, and that’s exactly why I recently shared an article containing my DIY Vitamin C Serum for the Face. Vitamin C provides collagen support, can reduce hyperpigmentation and can prevent skin changes caused by photoaging. A study from the Beeson Aesthetic Surgery Institute in Indiana showed that with at least three months of use of a topical vitamin C application, significant results were visible in the reduction of wrinkles, along with skin texture and skin tone changes. (9) Additionally, this plum contains trace minerals and antioxidants that nourish and invigorate the skin, including vitamin E, zinc, iron, folate and lutein, all of which can help prevent premature aging.